Nowadays, if Sinatra’s hit song “Come Fly with Me” suddenly brings chills down your spine, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The pandemic has made many people scared to travel, bringing the airline industry to a standstill – with no signs of it returning to its previous flying capacity.
But as we ease into this new normal, travel companies are getting innovative. The goal is simple (and shared globally): Get us all safely traveling again.
Yet, many people will still be hesitant to fly…
…And not just because it’s somewhat terrifying to sit in a metal tube thousands of feet in the air when you think about it. Nope – air circulation has suddenly become public enemy #1 in the skies.
Even though most airplanes have strong air filtration systems, most airplane’s AC units simply can’t filter out hundreds of people’s air particles for a long period of time… especially when it’s already hard to maintain social distance.
That’s why innovation firm Teague has created an “air curtain” that will go above each passenger’s seat to prevent the spread of germs.
Wait, how can air be a curtain?!
Simply put, this plastic 3D-printed device can easily be attached to the airplane’s existing air vents overhead. It will then create an invisible “barrier” of air that will manage the airflow between all passengers.
This curtain, called the AirShield, controls cabin airflow by creating a barrier of air around each seat. This disrupts the normal circulation of air, which reduces the chances of cross-contamination.
Any time a passenger breathes, coughs, or sneezes, the AirShield will contain the droplets within the “cone” of air coming from above. It does this by redirecting it downwards, then out of the vessel via the plane’s filtration system.
When can we expect to see them on planes – and can we use them for other things?
The AirShield device is currently “in anticipation of rapid deployment,” the company said in a statement. This means it’s in the prototype and engineering development phase, which is the final step before public testing.
Luckily, it’s cheap and easy to install – in fact, it can even be put on overnight!
The company claims the air blade technology in AirShield can also be used in dense places such as gyms, offices, and restaurants. Clearly, this is a big step in helping everyone transition back to a more “normal” version of life.
Creators of AirShield hope to put people at ease in the air – while promoting a sense of safety from viruses by lowering the risk of transmission between passengers.
So, would you trust the “air curtain” to keep germs from spreading? Or are you planning on staying grounded for the time being?
Let us know what you think in the comments below!